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Health Alert: Second Measles Case in Pierce County, Additional Cases Regionally

May 15, 2019

Pierce County has 2 confirmed measles cases: a man in his 50s (new case) and a man in his 40s (announced Sunday). New confirmed cases are also in King (2) and Snohomish (1) counties.

Requested actions

Be vigilant for signs and symptoms of measles.

  • 2-4 day prodrome of fever, cough, coryza and conjunctivitis.
  • Prodrome is followed by maculopapular rash that starts on head or face and spreads downward.
  • Koplik spots, small red spots on grayish base on oral mucosa, may or may not be detected.

Use this matrix to evaluate if a patient should be tested for measles and which specimens to collect.

Report immediately.

If you suspect measles, call the public health authority in the patient’s county of residence. You can reach the Health Department 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (253) 798-6410.

Isolate—Measles is highly contagious. To prevent exposure to other patients, immediately isolate a patient with suspected measles.

  • Instruct reception/phone/triage staff to identify patients who present with symptoms of possible measles. The patient must be told to enter through a back door wearing a mask or be seen outside away from other patients.
  • Room the patient immediately and close the door. Do not use the room until 2 hours after the patient leaves.
  • Ensure that all staff who will have contact with the patient have documented immunity to measles.

Immunize—Your strong recommendation and offer of vaccine is the #1 reason patients accept vaccines for their children and themselves.

  • Take every opportunity to vaccinate, especially children age 12 months and older.
  • Vaccine recommendations for infants are unchanged. Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine under age 12 months is only recommended for infants age 6-12 months if the infant:
    • Was in close contact (household, childcare, healthcare) with a confirmed case.
    • Gets the vaccine within 72 hours of exposure.
  • Infants age 6-11 months traveling to countries where measles is common should receive MMR vaccine.
  • Parents who have delayed or refused vaccines for their children may reconsider vaccines at this time. Strongly recommend vaccines again.
  • Recall children who are late or who have deferred MMR with a written warning that the risk of disease is now elevated. Reinforce your strong recommendation to vaccinate.

Exposure locations and information for patients available at www.tpchd.org/measles.

 

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